HOME | FREE MANDOLIN CHORD CHARTS | FREE VIDEO LESSONS | FREE PODCAST FOR STUDENTS

FREE BEGINNING MANDOLIN LESSONS | FREE MANDOLIN TABS | BRAD'S eBOOKS


Download Brad's FREE mandolin newsletters here...


the easy way to learn to play mandolin

 


 

©2016 Bradley Laird


FREE MANDOLIN LESSON 3 - by Bradley Laird Bookmark and Share


READING TABLATURE
As previously stated, the eight strings of the mandolin are tuned to only four notes. They are tuned in pairs. The two smallest diameter stings, closest to the floor are both called the first string and are played as if they are one string. These two strings are tuned to an E note. These strings, since they sound the same, are called a unison and we will call it the first string.


In the diagram below, called tablature, you will see that there are four horizontal lines. Each line represents one string (one pair of strings) on the mandolin. Vertical lines divide the tablature into bars or measures and are called bar lines. Numerals placed on the string indicate notes you are to play. In the first measure you see that there are four notes.

mandolin tablature
Each note has a stem and these notes are called quarter notes because there are four of them in each measure. The first measure shows that you are to play 4 notes on the first string(s) and the numeral indicates whether the note is played open or fretted. In this case, all of the notes are played at the "zero" fret (which means played open, or un-fretted). The first string is tuned to an E note.


The second measure shows four quarter notes played on the open second string. This string is tuned to a A note. The third measure is played on the open third string and is a D note. The last measure is played on the open fourth string and is tuned to a G note.


EXERCISE 1 - QUARTER NOTES

Play the following "open" quarter notes slowly, using downstrokes of the pick. Count 4 beats (1-2-3-4) and then play the exercise while striving for even, steady pick strokes.

mandolin tablature

Keep in mind that a quarter note will get one beat. (These exercises are written in what is called 4/4 time. This means each measure has 4 beats and a quarter note gets one beat. We will discuss 2/4 and 3/4 time later.)


EXERCISE 2 - 8TH NOTES
Two 8th notes are equal to one quarter note in time value. Two 8th notes get one beat. In this exercise, you will play the quarter notes with a down stroke and the 8th note pairs with a down/up stroke.

mandolin tablature

To count this rhythm you would say "one, two and, three, four and."

For some additional instruction on reading mandolin tablature you might enjoy watching my two part free "Reading Mandolin Tab 1" and "Reading Mandolin Tab 2" videos lessons.

I have the gist of this... take me to lesson 4.

beginner mandolin instruction course pdf download

Brad Laird's Beginning Mandolin Instruction Course

Click here for information about my downloadable PDF eBook which expands on the free lessons here on the site.

Larger tablature, more tunes and chords, printable full page format PLUS AUDIO TRACKS of all of the songs and exercises.